Hello? Cyndi? Are you there?
Yes. I’m here. I’m alive – just. Just kidding 🙂
If you’re reading this, you probably already know that I haven’t been well. You may know that 8 days ago I had surgery to remove my gallbladder. Yes, SURGERY. In America!
The last few weeks have been crazy. I have to admit that I have been slack with my blog, and in the last 4 months I’ve barely written about anything I’ve done. My bad. But hopefully I will be able to backtrack in the near future and get you all up to date on some of my adventures through the American spring.
A month ago I spent a night with my Australian au-pair friend and her host family, who live about 30 minutes south of Boston. I came down in the afternoon, and her host mom cooked a BBQ for dinner. And she cooked the most amazing thing I have ever eaten off a BBQ – a hamburger patty with bacon and grated cheese in it. SOOOO GOOD. That is, until I woke up at 5am with excruciating pain under my ribs, and I knew what it was – a gallbladder attack. I’d had a really bad one in October last year, after eating ribs and steak at a restaurant, and even though I had a bad attack, I recovered after 3 or 4 hours, and left it at that, without going to a doctor. So I was pretty sure that, due to the fatty red meat I had eaten the night before, this was another attack, and so after I had slept off the pain as best I could, I took myself to the hospital on the way home.
The doctor examined me, and then scheduled me for an ultrasound the next day. The doctor was actually the same urgent care doctor that saw me when I had the staph infection under my arm at Thanksgiving, and remember me. The next morning I went back for an ultrasound, where gallstones and inflammation were found, and found myself sitting on the end of a hospital bed, with another doctor telling me that I needed surgery, and I needed it before I returned home to Australia.
Two days later I dropped my host mom and kids at the airport, as they flew off to NC for a week vacation, and I went and saw a surgeon. After giving my tummy a few pokes, Dr Micki told me that I needed surgery, and joked that he could do it ‘tomorrow’ as he’d had a cancellation.
And then, a few hours later, I picked my friend Emily up from Boston Logan airport – she was visiting for 12 days, and we were headed to New York and Washington DC. Dr Micki gave me the ok to travel, as long as I stuck to a VERY bland ‘gallbladder diet’, so as to not give myself another attack – because another attack would mean I would need to go to the ER wherever I was at the time, and risk having surgery with a surgeon I didn’t know, in a city where I didn’t live. Eek.
But we did it. I was very hungry (and super sick of eating grilled chicken, salad and plain bagels) and sometimes grumpy, but Emily and I spent 3 days in New York, 2 in DC and a bunch hanging around Boston.
I had my surgery on June 29th. After a few issues arose with my host family (unrelated to me) they felt it would be best for me to recuperate elsewhere, and so it was organized that I would go back to the place of my initial “sickness” – the house of my Aussie friend and her host family. I arrived here straight after my surgery, and have been here for the last week. They are lovely people, and I am feeling a lot better – I have 4 incisions from the laparoscopic surgery, and minimal pain after 8 days.
My return to Australia is still unknown – I have been back to the hospital twice in the last week – once for a bellybutton cleaning (not a routine procedure, but my belly button incision was a little bit gross, and due to the nausea I had, cleaning it was not possible, lol) and once for a checkup. I have some pain in my shoulder (referred pain from my diaphragm), side (where 2 of the Trocars were inserted) and around my belly button, and these need to be gone before my doctor will give me a “fit to fly” to come home.
This isn’t really how I expected my time in America to end, but I’m fortunate that I have had the problem dealt with, and I don’t have to see more doctors, specialists, and most importantly, spend months on a waiting list back in Australia.